I had no idea there were so many uses for aluminum foil. I found myself without a funnel this week while mixing some essential oils, and cleverly curled a section of foil into a cone shape, secure it with tape, and start pouring. I considered myself a genius until I googled “uses for foil” and came across the mother lode. And since foil is on the list of things you should always buy at a dollar store, life just got a little more affordable. Enjoy!
In the kitchen:
1. Bake the perfect crust: Keep the edges of your pies from burning by covering them with strips of aluminum foil. The foil prevents the edges from getting overdone while the rest of your pie gets perfectly browned.
2. Soften up brown sugar: To restore hardened brown sugar, wrap a piece in aluminum foil and bake at 300°F for five minutes.
3. Polish silver: Brighten up dull silverware with an “ion exchange”. Line a pan with a sheet of aluminum foil, fill with cold water, and add two teaspoons of salt. Drop the silverware into the solution, let it sit for three minutes, rinse off and dry.
4. Scrub your pots: Crumple up foil and use it to scrub your pots.
5. Sharpen scissors: Fold a sheet of foil several times and cut through it with a pair of dull scissors to sharpen the blades.
6. Save steel wool:Set your scrubber on a piece of foil to keep rust away.
7. Catch ice-cream cone drips: Avoid making a cold mess by wrapping the bottom of an ice-cream cone with a piece of aluminum foil.
Around the house:
8. Protect a child’s mattress: Doing a middle of the night wet sheet swap? Save laundering the plastic protector for tomorrow by laying several sheets of aluminum foil across the width of the mattress. Cover with a beach towel. Finally, put on the bottom sheet.
9. Fix a loose battery connection: Fold a small piece of foil several times and insert it between a battery and loose spring to hold in place and complete the circuit.
10. Restore a mirror: Hide small flaws on a mirror’s surface by putting a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side facing out, on the back of the glass. To hold the foil in place, attach it to the backing behind the mirror or to the frame with masking tape.
11. Move furniture: To slide big pieces of furniture over a smooth floor, place small pieces of aluminum foil under the legs, dull side down.
12. Speed up ironing: Put a piece of aluminum foil under your ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat back through the clothing, smoothing wrinkles faster.
13. Pet training: Place sheets of foil on your furniture or into the doorway of the room you don’t want your pet to go. Animals that have pads under their feet do not like contact with foil.
14. Repair vinyl floor tiles: Reattach an unglued vinyl floor tile by covering it with a piece of aluminum foil and running a hot clothes iron over it a few times. When you feel the glue melting underneath, remove the iron and put a pile of books or bricks on top of the tile to weight it down while the glue resets.
15. Line paint roller pans: Skip the pricey disposable plastic pans or liners by lining a metal roller pan with aluminum foil. When your done with your masterpiece, simply toss the foil.
16. Keep a paintbrush wet: Going to continue painting tomorrow morning? Squeeze out the excess paint and wrap the brush tightly in aluminum foil, using a rubber band to hold the foil tightly at the base of the handle.
17. Avoid drips: Wrap pipes, hoses, doorknobs, drawer pulls and other oddly shaped objects to protect them from paint drips and help with trimming.
18. Get rid of rust: Crumple a piece of foil, and use it to rub rust spots off car bumpers and shower-curtain rods.
Out and about:
19. Protect your garden: To keep insects and slugs away from your vegetables, mix strips of aluminum foil in with your garden mulch. As a bonus benefit, the foil will reflect light back up onto your plants.
20. Lure a fish: Make a fishing lure on the fly (Ha! Get it?). Wrap aluminum foil around a fishhook. Fan out the foil so that it covers the hook and moves invitingly when you reel in the line.
21. Reusable paint palette: Squeeze paint onto the middle of a sheet of foil. Fold it up and come back to your paints later or simply dispose when finished painting for the day.
What other ways do you use foil?